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VA Benefits Information
GI Bill Benefits & OJT/Apprenticeship Programs
- NATIONAL GUARD MEMBERS
- ELIGIBLE DEPENDENTS
- SELECTED RESERVES
Did you know that it is possible to use GI Bill benefits for Apprenticeship Training and On-The-Job Training (OJT)? It is possible to receive a monthly educational benefit check from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for training in an approved Apprenticeship or OJT program.
This year, nearly $2.5M in Veteran's Benefits has been paid to qualified registered apprentices. Registered apprenticeships constitute qualified training for a veteran to receive benefits under Chapter 30, Montgomery GI Bill and Chapter 31, Vocational Rehabilitation (Voc-Rehab). Depending on your branch of service, your survivors may be eligible under Chapter 35, Survivors or Dependents programs. Check with OPI for specifics on these programs. All of these programs pay a monthly stipend directly to the eligible beneficiary.
VIP: SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY FOR VETERANS!
Did you know that the Veterans in Piping program offers a free 20 week training program to OIF/OEF Veterans? Successful graduates receive welding and rigging certifications and qualify as a 2nd year apprentice as a pipefitter. Classes occur on a regularly scheduled basis.
Successful completion of a registered apprenticeship program in the pipe trades can translate into journeyworker status and a great wage + benefits that averages more than $50 per hour.
Interested in the Veterans in Piping program? Check out these program materials:
- VIP Flyer (pdf)
- VIP One-page Overview
- VIP Program Description
- VIP Application
- VIP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Contact your local DVOP or LVER staff at DWD's Office of Veterans
- Wisconsin Job Center locations (where Office of Veterans staff are located)
What is Apprenticeship Training?
Apprenticeship Training is supervised on-the-job training coupled with related technical instruction (usually 144 hours per year). Apprenticeships are normally from one to five years in length. In Wisconsin, all apprenticeships must be registered with the Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards. Examples include: Electrician, Ironworker, Carpenter, Plumber, Fire Fighter, Corrections Officer, and Tool and Die Maker.
There are time limits involved and approval of a program may be back-dated for up to one year for benefit purposes. As a general rule, veterans have 10 years after their separation from service to use their GI Bill Benefit. Chapter 34 GI Bill (Vietnam Era) ended on December 31, 1989; however, some Chapter 34 veterans are eligible for benefits under Chapter 30. Chapter 33 veterans normally have 15 years after separation to use their benefit.
What is On-The-Job Training (OJT)?
OJT is training received while actually performing a job and earning wages. OJT programs must be at least six months up to normally not more than two years in length to qualify. An OJT program differs from an apprenticeship program in that there is not a related technical instruction portion to an OJT program.
How to Begin
- If you do not have a job, or are not currently working in the occupation you want, contact a local Wisconsin Job Center Office. The Veteran Representative should be able to find an employer who may offer the kind of training needed to reach your occupational objective.
- Next, have your employer contact the Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards to determine the necessary steps to get the training program approved. Many, but not all, occupations can be approved.
- Contact the Veterans Affairs Office at 1-888-442-4551 to determine your specific eligibility for educational benefits or your local County Veterans Service Officer.
What is the Amount of a Monthly Benefit Check?
Applies to those entering active duty after July 1, 1985, and to those who contributed to the Montgomery GI Bill.
EFFECTIVE October 1, 2012: For veterans whose period of active duty was three years or more, the monthly allowance will be:
- First 6 months $1,275.00
- Second 6 months $916.58
- Third 6 months $571.20
- Remainder of training $559.30
Or, for veterans whose initial period of active duty was less than three years:
- First 6 months $952.50
- Second 6 months $698.50
- Remainder of training $444.50
Participation in specific programs may create eligibility for additional amounts or â€œkickersâ€.
Applies to veterans who entered active duty between January 1, 1977 and June 30, 1985, and contributed toward the Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP). The rate payable is based upon contributions. Contact the VA Regional Office for information on a specific allowance.
Applies to members of the National Guard or Reserves with a six year period of obligation after October 1, 1990. Veterans should contact their unit for eligibility.
EFFECTIVE October 1, 2012, the monthly allowance will be:
- First 6 months $267.00
- Second 6 months $195.80
- Remainder of training $124.60
Must remain in active NG/Reserve status to draw benefits.
Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP). Applies to members of the National Guard or Reserves with continuous deployment days since 9/11/01 as follows: Effective October 1, 2012: 90 to 364=$469.20 per month; 365 to 729=$703.80 per month; 730+ days=$938.40 per month. Special circumstances (e.g.: temporary disability) may impact REAP benefits. Benefits decrease after 1st and 2nd 6-month periods. Must remain an active NG/Reserve status to draw benefits. Please contact the Department of Veterans Affairs at 1-800-442-4551 with any specific questions.
Applies to veterans who entered active duty between February 1, 1955 and December 31, 1976. You may be eligible to receive benefits under Chapter 30.
EFFECTIVE October 1, 2012, Chapter 34 veterans will be paid the same rates as Chapter 30 veterans with 3 years or more active duty, shown above.
Applies to a child or spouse of a service-connected deceased or 100 percent permanently disable veteran.
EFFECTIVE October 1, 2012, the monthly allowance will be:
- First 6 months $720.00
- Second 6 months $540.00
- Third 6 months $356.00
- Remainder of training $180.00
Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 GI Bill) applies to those who served on active duty after September 10, 2001. A service member must have served at least 90 aggregate days on active duty. However, individuals honorably discharged for a service-connected disability who served 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001 may also establish eligibility. Effective October 1, 2012 the monthly allowance will be Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents for the zip code of the sponsoring employer or committee. This amount starts at 100% and then is reduced by 20% every 6 months until it reaches 20%. The benefit remains at 20% for the remainder of the training. There is also a benefit of up to $83 per month for books and supplies. This benefit for apprentices or OJT programs will only pay benefits after October 1, 2011, when the law takes effect.
VA Benefit Contacts
Who to Contact For Assistance
Questions on basic eligibility for benefits:
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
National Call Center
Website: National VA information www.gibill.va.gov
Website: Local County Veterans Service Office (CVSO)
Questions regarding program approval:
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
Division of Employment & Training
Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards
201 E Washington Avenue, Room E-100
Madison, WI 53702
Contact your Apprenticeship Training Representative (ATR)